Jun 28

Space Rocket History #214 – Apollo 11 – The Climb to Orbit

A Saturn V liftoff is spectacular, and the launch of Apollo 11 was no exception. But it didn’t give the audience any surprises. To the three Gemini-experienced pilots, who likened the sensation to the boost of a Titan II, it was a normal launch.

Launch of Apollo 11

Former Pres. Johnson & current VP Spiro T. Agnew watch the launch of Apollo 11

Apollo 11-The Rocket’s Red Glare

Jun 14

Space Rocket History #212 – Apollo 11 – Prelaunch

In addition to the ordinary taxpayers who gathered on the beaches and roads of eastern Florida, 20,000 VIPs were invited by NASA to watch the lift off from viewing stands near the Vehicle Assembly Building.

Crane lifts first stage in preparation for stacking on mobile launcher

Second stage is moved in position to connect with first

Third stage is hoisted for connection to the second stage

Jun 07

Space Rocket History #211 – Apollo 11 – Mission Training – Part 3 & Contamination

In addition to the fixed-base lunar module simulators in Houston and at the Cape, astronauts also practiced at Langley Research Center on the suspended lunar landing trainer which was equipped with realistic surface views and lighting.

Aldrin practices setting up Solar Wind experiment

Armstrong practices opening a lunar sample box

1/6 gravity harness to practice moon walking

Apr 19

Space Rocket History #205 – Apollo 11 – Lunar Module Pilot Buzz Aldrin – Part 2

Unfortunately Aldrin’s life became difficult shortly after he emerged from quarantine and began months of public appearances.

Buzz as Commandant at the Air Force Test Pilot school

Adlrin’s 2013 book

Current photo of Buzz

Apr 12

Space Rocket History #204 – Apollo 11 – Lunar Module Pilot Buzz Aldrin – Part 1

After Buzz graduated from Montclair High School in 1946, he turned down a full scholarship offer from the  Massachusetts Institute of Technology, and went to the United States Military Academy at West Point.

First space selfie by Buzz Aldrin

Buzz in 1969

Iconic Visor reflection photo of Buzz

May 04

Space Rocket History #159 – Zond 6

Trouble began on the sixth day of the flight, November 17. The capsule developed an atmospheric  leak, the pressure first dropping from 760 to 380 mm of Mercury.  With the drop in cabin pressure all the animal test subjects died.  It would have killed any Cosmonaut not wearing a spacesuit.

Proton-K with 7K-L1

Proton-K with 7K-L1

Zone 6 mission profile

Zone 6 mission profile

Zond 6 Double-dip reentry

Zond 6 Double-dip reentry

Apr 27

Space Rocket History #158 – Soyuz 2 and 3

The soviets showed some confidence in their spacecraft by launching the unmanned Soyuz 2 first, but showed some caution by not sending a cosmonaut in Soyuz 2.

Soyuz 7K-oK assembly credit RKK Energia

Soyuz 7K-oK assembly credit RKK Energia

Georgi Beregovoy pilot of Soyuz 3

Georgi Beregovoy pilot of Soyuz 3

Soyuz 3 on the launch pad

Soyuz 3 on the launch pad

Mar 16

Space Rocket History #153 – Zond 5 – Tortoises in Space & Nasa Stennis

The first attempt for a Zond 4 follow-up launched on April 22.  It failed when the Launch Escape System sent an erroneous abort command at T+260 seconds and shut down the Proton booster’s second stage. The escape rocket fired and pulled the descent module to safety.

Zond 5

Zond 5

Zond 5 Recovery

Zond 5 Recovery Indian Ocean

Scientist observing lunar Tortoises

Scientist observing lunar Tortoises